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Eastern Michigan Priest Sixth Forced Out of Diocese Since 2003
The Living Church Foundation ^ | 8/05/2005 | unknown

Posted on 08/05/2005 5:05:39 PM PDT by sionnsar

Fourteen bishops have censured the Rt. Rev. Edwin M. Leidel, Bishop of Eastern Michigan, for deposing the Rev. Gene Geromel, SSC, under Canon IV.10: “Abandonment of Communion,” saying the deposition is “invalid.”

“We reject this deposition on its spiritual, moral and canonical content and find it reprehensible use of episcopal authority by a fellow bishop of this Church,” they wrote on Aug 4.

As a mark of support, the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy; the Rt. Rev. James M. Adams, Jr., Bishop of Western Kansas; the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield; the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh; the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida; the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, and the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin, have “granted license to function in each of our dioceses as a priest in good standing” to Fr. Geromel. Seven suffragan and retired bishops joined in endorsing the letter.

Bishop Leidel told a Saginaw television station the support for Fr. Geromel was not significant. “Ninety percent of the church, and those are often larger dioceses, they would not be there at all,” in disputing Fr. Geromel’s deposition, he said.

Dean Bedford, president of the standing committee, told The Living Church it “became abundantly clear” in January there would be no reconciliation between the diocese and Fr. Geromel. On Jan. 8, Fr. Geromel “was advised of his six-month inhibition period and his rights under Canon IV.10 but did not choose to contest the inhibition or to offer a defense or response as provided in Canon IV.10.2,” Mr. Bedford said.

“I take no satisfaction in doing this,” Bishop Leidel said. “It is a sad day for Gene, for me, for the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, and in fact for the whole Church. We exercised all avenues available to us in hopes of avoiding this conclusion.”

“Traditionalists throughout the world have had enough,” Fr. Geromel responded, adding that his case had been submitted to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel of Reference in June. “It was stupid to do this. I wasn’t bothering anybody.”

Five years ago, Fr. Geromel’s parish, St. Bartholomew’s, Swartz Creek, withdrew from the Episcopal Church, and purchased its property from the diocese. “For the past eight years I have asked Bishop Leidel to send my letter dimissory to a Forward in Faith bishop,” Fr. Geromel said. “He refused to allow this.” Acting with Bishop Leidel’s permission, Bishop Ackerman has exercised episcopal oversight over the parish since its departure.

Fr. Geromel said the deposition would have no immediate impact on his ministry. Bishop Leidel “has no power over me” as “he froze the Church Pension Fund on me five years ago,” he stated.

Since the 74th General Convention, five other Eastern Michigan rectors have left the diocese or withdrawn from the ministry because of the way Bishop Leidel has dealt with dissent to the consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

The Rev. Darryl Pigeon resigned as rector of Trinity, Lexington, eventually finding a post as a school chaplain in Fort Worth, and the Rev. Gregory Tournoux resigned as rector of Christ Church, Owosso, later moving to Christ Church, Springfield, Ill. The Rev. Scott Danforth resigned as rector of St. Dunstan’s, Davison, and renounced his ministry, accepting ordination in another denomination.

Two priests—the Rev. David Kulchar, rector of Trinity, Flushing, and the Rev. Steven Dewey, rector of Grace Church, Lapeer—resigned, planting breakaway congregations. Bishop Leidel inhibited Fr. Kulchar and Fr. Dewey for “abandoning the Communion” in March, and absent a recantation, will depose them in October.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglican; apostasy; ecusa; episcopal; michigan; religiousleft

1 posted on 08/05/2005 5:05:40 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: sionnsar

I dunno, would it be appropriate to suggest that those who object to a sodomite bishop are now being buggered by other bishops? How else to characterize it? It seems to me that Jesus Himself might put it that way.

2 posted on 08/06/2005 7:26:46 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Look it up!)
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